The Latest on the EPA and Harley-Davidson

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The Latest on the EPA and Harley-Davidson

We’ve probably all heard of Screamin' Eagle super tuners. They’re intended to enhance a Harley's performance for racing. Harley-Davidson sold about 340,000 of them since 2008, along with about 12,000 fuel injection race tuners. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleges that the devices violate certain clean air regulations prohibiting defeat devices that increase engine power but circumvent emission levels that the company had previously certified with regulators. The motorcycle manufacturer has now agreed to a settlement with the EPA in excess of $15 million.

The deal consists of a $12 million civil penalty and $3 million to be used for the purposes of mitigating air pollution with an EPA project partner that replaces wood stoves with others that burn cleaner. The company also agreed to buy back thousands of the super tuners from dealers and destroy them. Harley-Davidson also allegedly sold about 12,000 motorcycles between 2006 and 2008 with emissions systems that hadn't been certified. If the company sells any other super tuners outside of the United States, they must be clearly labeled that they're not for use in the United States. It's estimated that more than 33 percent of all motorcycles on American roads are being driven with modified or replaced exhaust systems.

Harley-Davidson admitted no liability with this settlement. It agreed to cease and desist from selling the tuners. The company stated that it wanted to fully and finally settle the super tuners issue quickly rather than engage in protracted litigation. It's more interested in investing other funds into future research and development rather than sinking them into litigation.

It appears as if Harley Davidson is being singled out and being made an example of by the EPA. One spokesman from the U.S. Department of Justice stated that anybody else "who manufactures, sells or installs these illegal products should take heed of Harley-Davidson's corrective actions and immediately stop violating the law." It's believed that certain foreign motorcycle manufacturers are also building and importing motorcycles that don't meet EPA noise and emission standards.

The old Harley sound is driving off into the sunset. You won't be able to get it anymore unless you buy an older used bike. That's exactly what some riders are doing.

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